Spotlight: Insurance loopholes need to be eliminated

Physicians, hospitals and other providers that treat Illinois’ injured workers are in a severe crisis. In recent years, workers’ compensation insurers have exploited loopholes to avoid complying with basic requirements of Illinois law.

It’s time to eliminate these loopholes.

The issue is enforcement of current laws requiring timely workers’ compensation insurer approvals and health care provider reimbursement — these profitable insurers are ignoring these laws, creating significant delays on payments for medical care, sometimes for months and years.

Timely payment for services rendered is something that most businesses in Peoria take for granted. Health care is a major job creator and contributor to our region’s gross domestic product. Yet for some reason we often don’t get treated like other businesses. How can we be expected to make payroll, pay rent and keep the lights on when workers’ compensation insurers hold back reimbursement.

Small private medical providers should not be forced to subsidize billion dollar insurance companies.

That’s one half of the issue — these insurers are also ignoring an electronic billing requirement enacted in 2011. In 2018, these insurers are clinging to an all-paper billing system that delays claims, payments and keeps money in their bank accounts longer.

As a point of reference, I began to commonly use electronic billing with other insurers and Medicare back in 2008. It’s now a common function of any medical office.

There’s a solution to this problem, and all it takes is a simple signature — Senate Bill 904, which a sympathetic General Assembly passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in May.

This article was first published by Journal Star.

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